1980 | Rock
Spotify | Amazon
“Who do you want? -- Who you be today? -- And who is it really, makin' up your mind? -- You want to listen to the man? -- Pay attention to the magistrate. -- And while I got you in the mood, listen to your own heart beating."
- The song hit #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
- Eddie Money makes a guest appearance in the song's background chorus.
THE HOT TAKES
"You wanna listen to the man; Pay attention to the magistrate; And while I gotcha in the mood; Listen to your own heart beatin'" There's a bit to unpack here. It seems like people are oh-so-willing to listen to the dictates of the magistrate. The town council member. The mayor. The governor. The police. The FBI. The CIA. Congress. But if we're going to listen, why not give ourselves some credit as well? That's a cool way to approach the issue of state authority, right? Stop following so-called authorities around like lapdogs, waiting for table scraps. Look inward--develop yourself, come into your own--and live according to your own principles.
This song is fluffy and fun, but it has a nice anti-authoritarian bent to it, like the move Caddyshack that used it as it's theme. In the movie a caddy named Danny, is being groomed by older country club members, to be respectable and play the social climbing game, but really, he just wants to be left alone to find his own way in life. I love idea of giving the middle finger to the busy bodies who try to helicopter and mold young people into younger versions of themselves. These folks aren't mentors who truly want to help guide a young person to find their way, but those who want to add them to the ranks of those who fall in line and do what is expected of them.
Kenny Loggins? Are we joking? Strangely enough we're not. I'm always a little blown away at the lyrics that were hiding in the pop music of just a few decades ago. This song is a silly pop song written as a theme for a silly comedy. Strangely enough it's got some seriously subversive lines in it. Maybe this has to do with the respectability politics element of the movie. The movie centers around a bunch of wealthy golfers and their attempt to police others into living the way they want. In its way the cheesy message about listening to your heart not the magistrate resonates with me because it seems as though we all have a sense of right and wrong. The will of those with money and power strangely always seems at odds with these understandings.